Managed Service Providers: What Security Solutions to Use and Offer

MSP Network Security

Cyber threats aren’t new, but hackers have increasingly turned their attacks on vulnerable managed service providers and their clients. With the data that managed service providers store for those clients, they are a treasure trove for attackers who would use that data to attack those clients, or the MSP itself, with malware and ransomware. 

The Security Tools Managed Service Providers Can Provide Their Clients

Managed service providers are in a unique position to both provide high-end security for their customers while implementing security on their own end. Some of these solutions will address similar concerns. But make no mistake–as a managed service provider, you’ll also need to implement more involved and thorough security solutions to keep your clients safe. 

Network Security for Managed Services

The Increased Demand for Security for Managed Service Providers

Managed service providers are a prime target for hackers primarily because they are a central hub for many SMBs or enterprise clients. Not only does an MSP potentially manage the private data for most, or all, of their clients, but they also provide a vector for hackers to directly attack their clients’ infrastructure.

For example, a China-based group known as “APT10” spent the better part of a year between 2016 and 2017 targeting MSPs to not only access vast amounts of personal and company data, but to gain insight into the various technical infrastructures of business throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

These threats have only grown in scope and volume. Malware, ransomware, and sophisticated phishing attacks are continually assailing managed service providers and their data. The cost of a data breach for an MSP can run anywhere up to $3.86 million in 2020… but that isn’t counting the costs that would impact their customers, and the irreparable damage it would impact against their credibility.

Common Security Stack Your Managed Service Provider Can Offer

Managed service providers can give their clients important layers of security. Small businesses in particular that are looking for support that will keep their data safe and secure without having to know much about it. The core of these services should focus on:

    1. Firewalls
    2. DNS Filtering 
    3. Email Security
    4. Endpoint security

This configuration will provide perimeter security for a business’s network while protecting against web-based attacks against their websites. At the same time, your customers will get focused security at the people level, specifically with email and endpoint security to prevent phishing and malware downloads. 

As more managed service providers are offering SaaS and cloud storage/computing solutions, security should match customer needs. Even a smaller business working with a cloud platform will require additional security and prevention services like data loss protection, policy management, and vulnerability scanning. In fact, data protection and cloud security were ranked in the top 5 of managed security services in 2020. 

The reality is that if your managed service provider business model offers cloud service solutions, then it should be offering the security to go with them.


Security Service Managed Service Providers Should Use


There is obviously some overlap between the services that both a managed service provider and its clients use, including everything listed above. However, managed service providers that field cloud-related services handling client and customer data are increasingly becoming the targets of more sophisticated attacks. That, along with the responsibility of an MSP to its clients, means that more sophisticated and preventative security solutions are called for.

  1. Enterprise-level security systems. While your clients won’t necessarily everything that comes with this level of cybersecurity software, your operation may. These software packages will contain several layers of security built for scale, including tailored solutions with some level of white-glove implementation.
  2. Reporting, auditing, and analytics. Your company is not only in charge of your own security, but the security of someone’s business and livelihood. It isn’t enough to be secure… you need to stay ahead of security. At a minimum, cloud providers should be working with a security provider that can perform SOC 2 compliance auditing. Depending on the industry or industries you serve, that can also include HIPAA compliance (healthcare), NIST and FedRAMP compliance (government), NERC CIP (bulk electrical systems), and more.
  3. Governance and risk assessment. You can provide security to clients so they don’t have to think about strategy. That means, however, that you need to think about it for them and yourself. Your security solutions should include governance and policies to streamline compliance and help you strategize against real-time security threats. 


The Takeaway

As you can see, securing your MSP operation can get complex fast. To be successful, you’ll want to secure your own systems and encourage your customers to secure their own, either through your services or a third-party provider. 

Work with a security partner yourself and coordinate your own security alongside the security of your customers. The ITAM Continuum GRC software solution can help centralize risk assessment, auditing, reporting, and automation, ready-to-go from day one. With built-in AI, crypto-driven evidence management, dynamic reporting, automated risk scores, and drag-n-drop customization, ITAM Continuum GRC will put the power of enterprise security in your hands

Continuum GRC is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-6207 to discuss your organization’s cybersecurity needs and find out how we can help your organization protect its systems and ensure compliance.

Want to learn more?

Continuum GRC